Dr Buck Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and muscle tears. Cold therapy decreases the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also help with joint pain that is chronic. The greatest thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief due to its calming effects on joints. But which treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. It is important to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can cause burns and hives.

Swelling is decreased
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. In addition, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for those who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease pain. Heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy on the other hand, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. For best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy is most effective for relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There is no correct or incorrect treatment. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is used to reduce pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety health ailments. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long could result in ice burns and hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have their advantages, however, they can also cause side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the decreased blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer, making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.